Men’s business casual has come a long way from the two-toned slacks and blazer combination it used to be. While wearing a pair of slacks and a blazer still technically qualifies as upper-business casual, the modern version of the genre has relaxed its entry point. So, what is business casual, then? Well, it’s a lot of things, but the one thing it is NOT is dressing up your casual attire. Let’s take a look at a few examples of modern business casual attire and how best to pair them for the desired effect.
Button-Up versus Button-Down Dress Shirts
Yes, you read that correct, and yes there is a difference. A button-up dress shirt is simply one that comes without fasteners on the collar. A button-down dress shirt has fasteners on the collar. All things being created equal – i.e., using the same fabric, print, and cut to make a shirt – would still only take one small change to knock a business casual shirt back down to weekend casual. The button-down collar. This is not to say that a button-down shirt can’t make for a worthy business casual ensemble, but if you’ve ever worn a dress shirt expecting to look especially sharp and thought “something feels off”, check the collar. If there are buttons (or the collar is too soft) then that’s very likely what you’re sensing.
Traditional Slacks versus Chinos
When it comes to pants there is a bit more wiggle room. Slacks and khakis are both viable options, but chinos can vary from office to office. If you ARE opting for chinos, then your best bet is to stay away from pastels and very vibrant colors that distract. Tan, brown, grey, black, and navy are fantastic in this category. Dark green or olive also works but can be seen as teetering on the line between regular casual and the business variety. The most important thing for choosing pants, however, is the cut. There is no hard and fast rule here but be mindful that the cut you choose – slim, straight, skinny, or relaxed – accents your body type and keeps you looking neat and well put together.
What are dress casual shoes?
Traditionally, Chelsea boots, brogues and loafers were among the more popular business casual shoes, but that’s not necessarily the case anymore. Chukka boots, monk straps, and derby shoes, heck, even a no-frills pair of leather sneakers can be considered business casual with the right ensemble. The key here is to be aware of the ensemble. Leather sneakers with slacks probably aren’t going to work unless you’re walking the red carpet at some trendy soiree, but leather sneakers with a complementary chino, belt, and polo? That sounds like a pretty good casual Friday to us.
At Original Stitch we offer a fully customizable collection of premium quality dress shirt, suit blazer, and pant fabrics. Use them to create a wardrobe that is completely unique to YOU. Our high-quality yarns are hand-selected from – and tailored in – Japan to be extra resistant to wear and tear while maintaining a softer feel than their off-the-rack counterparts.